BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
Thank the Goddess for Severin Films. With their new release of Cathy’s Curse, we can now dispose of our all our inferior Mill Creek DVD copies. Severin, recognizing the power in the weirdness of this French-Canadian production, has seen fit to provide fans of the Canuxploitation classic with a 2k restoration of this little shocker. Using recently-found film elements, the results in their visual upgrade are absolutely stunning and will certainly give you a reason to think twice before dismissing this genre gem as a low budget copycat.
Inspired by The Exorcist and The Omen, with elements of Carrie thrown in for good measure, Cathy’s Curse begins with tragedy as a little girl named Laura (Linda Koot) gets burned alive after surviving a car accident with her father at the wheel. Both die as they are unable to escape the car in time. Twenty years later, her brother (Alan Scarfe) decides to move his wife (Beverly Murray) and his little girl, Cathy (Randi Allen), into the family home. Little do they know that Laura is still there…well, at least her spirit remains. And it’s not happy.
When Cathy discovers a creepy doll in the attic with eyes that are sewn shut, she nurtures a sympathetic bond with it. Her mother wants her to throw it out. Her father defends her and so she gets to keep the doll. Unfortunately, she really needed to have thrown it out as, the longer and longer she has it with her, the weirder life gets in the home.
Cathy begins to do some really weird shit. She tries to black out the eyes of her neighborhood friend, causes a babysitter to throw herself out the window, causes her mother to go insane, terrorizes the groundskeeper (Roy Witham) with snakes and rats and spiders, and just generally gets weird with most things in general. Fortunately, she was not born this way, but someone has got to figure out how to reclaim Cathy amongst all the angst and anger that the spirit of Linda wants to dish out.
Cathy’s Curse, directed by co-writer Eddy Matalon, is a big revelation under Severin Films’ re-tooling. The blurry nature of previous releases is gone. Instead we have a movie that invites conversation, not chuckles. Sure, it’s low budget but that never gets in the way of it truly being a unique film full of disturbing situations, a possessed doll, a disturbed medium, and a large house – with truly awful wallpaper – that stands alongside the house used in The Amityville Horror on the creepiness scale.
Personally, Cathy’s Curse is close to my heart due to the odd statements made and the sheer amount of cursing that comes trickling out of Cathy’s mouth. “All women are bitches,” she yells at her mother. Shrieks of “whore” are also heard quiet frequently. It seems Linda is a bit pissed at her mom for leaving her and her father and it comes raging to a head with Cathy and her mother, who is easily convinced she’s raising Satan’s own true spawn. Combine that with the sheer otherworldly bizarreness in some of the scenes and the ghostly green eyes in Linda’s photographs and you’ve got a winner-winner chicken dinner blu-ray release from the fine fiends over at Severin Films.
Believe it or not, Cathy’s Curse has arrived on blu-ray. How the fuck did we get so lucky?!
MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime: 88 mins
Director: Eddy Matalon
Writer: Myra Clément, Eddy Matalon
Cast: Alan Scarfe, Beverly Murray, Randi Allen
Tagline: She has the power...to terrorize.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Old bitch. Fat whore. Fat dried up whore."
Theatrical Distributor: 21st Century Film Corporation
Release Date: July, 1980
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: April 11, 2017
Synopsis: A young girl is possessed by the spirit of her dead aunt, who died in a car accident. Soon members of her family begin to mysteriously die off.
Home Video Distributor: Severin Films
Available on Blu-ray - April 11, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region A
Severin Films presents Cathy’s Curse on 1080p with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Severin, recognizing the power in the weirdness of this French-Canadian production, has seen fit to provide fans of the canuxploitation classic with a 2k restoration of this little shocker. Using recently-found film elements, the results in their visual upgrade are absolutely stunning and will certainly give you a reason to think twice before dismissing this genre gem as a low budget copycat. For anyone seeing this movie for the very first time, you might not understand just how incredible of a moment this is. For years, we’ve only seen the movie in crappy budget bins for DVD. Mill Creek did fans no favors with their handling of the movie, but finally we get to see the film as it was originally intended: clearly. Details are punctuated. The costumes are crisp. Even the shadows are well-defined. The house in the story is vibrant and all is so impacted by a color upgrade that it’s almost tear-inducing. Didier Vasseur’s inspired score is also hear clearly thanks to the the clean DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 soundtrack.
Available on the US Cut of the movie, the audio commentary by BirthMoviesDeath critic Brian Collins and Filmmaker Simon Barrett is both fun and groovy (and too apologetic). Fans will understand what I mean by that last comment.
Severin also doesn’t disappoint with the supplemental items. Up first is an on-camera interview with the film’s director who talks about filming in Montreal and working with Roy Witham. Randi Allen and Joyce Allen discuss their shock that people are STILL talking about the movie 40 years after its release. There’s an introduction from critic Brian Collins, a theatrical trailer (which includes the new print), and two versions of the film. Of course, the 91-minute Director’s Cut is the better of the two.
- Tricks And Treats: An Interview with Director Eddy Matalon (20 min)
- Cathy & Mum: Interview with Actress Randi Allen and Costume Designer Joyce Allen (13 min)
- Introduction to Cinematic Void Screening At American Cinematheque by BirthMoviesDeath Critic Brian Collins (4 min)
- Theatrical Trailer